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NHL Alumni Spotlight - Richard Zemlak

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
NHL Alumni Spotlight
Richard Zemlak

In partnership with the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, presented by Comcast, presented by Comcast, presented by Comcast, will feature an Alumni member each week.

It’s a great way for us to catch up with a number of former players who made their mark in Minnesota, in one way or another. This week, we hear from Richard Zemlak, who is a former North Star, and now makes his home in Lakeville, Minnesota.

To learn more about the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, click here.

Birthplace: Wynyard, Saskatchewan, CANADA

NHL Teams you played for:

Quebec Nordiques (1986-87)

Minnesota North Stars (1987-1989)
Pittsburgh Penguins (1988-1990)
Calgary Flames (1991-1992)

Where do you live now?

Lakeville, Minnesota. We live on Lake Marion and have the opportunity to enjoy water in the summer and a rink for the boys in the winter.

What are you doing now?

GOLF, GOLF and MORE GOLF! I also work with a custom home builder, Aarbor Homes, in Real Estate.

Family life:

I’m married to my wife, Teri, who also sells real estate with ReMax. We have two boys. Zachary is 5, he just started kindergarten this year and loves playing hockey and golf with his dad. Zane is our youngest at three years old. He’s in preschool and keeps us very busy. He’s a fun-loving spirit, and tries to keep up with his big brother in everything.

Do any of your immediate family members play hockey?

My 16 year old nephew, Brett Leffler, plays Tier I junior hockey for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

What playoff teams did you play for?


Did you ever win the Stanley Cup?


What was your most memorable hockey moment?

In 1987, while playing with the Quebec Nordiques in an exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens, we won 3-2, and I got two goals and an assist.

What was the best team you ever played on?

Pittsburgh Penguins

Who was your best teammate?

Basil McRae. He came to play every game and always gave 110%. He was a team leader.

Who was your best coach?

Herb Brooks. He was a philosopher of the game. He knew everything there was to know about hockey. One of his favorite lines was, "It is always about the emblem on the sweater, not the name on the back of the jersey." He was an inspiring man!

Who is your favorite player in the game today?

Mario Lemieux. One of the greatest players. I admire his character on and off the ice. He persevered through many obstacles throughout his career.

Try to recall the funniest prank you ever saw, or were a part of:

While I was with the North Stars, during the game, I nailed Brian Bellows’ dress shoes to the floor of the dressing room. Obviously, revenge was on its way, so the next morning before practice, I swapped out my underwear, socks and shoes with Scott Bjugstad, who sat next to me in the locker room.

Thinking that mine were there, Brian filled the shoes and socks with shaving cream and the underwear with Red Hot. Little did he know, I had swapped my stuff out with Scott’s. We all had a chuckle at the expense of Scott. Sorry Scott! 

Alumni Archives

To read the NHL Alumni Spotlight featuring Neil Sheehy, click here.

To read the NHL Alumni Spotlight featuring Lance Pitlick, click here.

To read the NHL Alumni Spotlight featuring JP Parise, click here.

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